Strategic Fictions: "The Sum of All Fears" and "Three Kings"

Essay by beavb419University, Master'sA+, November 2006

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In the years following the Cold War, Americans feared nuclear war and global terrorism due to nuclear weapons. Nuclear terrorism is still currently a major threat to the United States, and it can be a preventable catastrophe. Nuclear weapons are known to exist in eight states: The United States, Russia, England, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan. Today, the United States continues to build nuclear weapons because of the ideas racing around of possible imagined threats. Now with the impeding notion that North Korea may become a nuclear threat, national security analysts realize that nuclear weapons are not going to diminish, and they need to continue to investigate what could be happen if war broke out and determine all possibilities. The national security strategy of the United States is built upon imagined catastrophic events, and it is quite difficult to pinpoint all possibilities. Although with the aid of strategic fictions, these analysts can get extra insight through the narrative presented in each film.

Strategic fictions are tales of catastrophic future wars whose scenarios everyday citizens and defense planners alike treat as seriously as historical fact. Strategic fictions are used to look back at events in history that have been catastrophic and imagine what future attacks could be possible. These films create certain scenarios that never happened, but could. Strategic fictions give viewers the idea that nuclear weapons are able to be obtained by theft, illicit purchase, or transfer from state control. Viewers also see how terrorist are easily able to sneak weapons through trucks, aircrafts, ships, not just into the U.S., but also into other countries, like Russia or Iraq. Doug Davis, PhD theorizes that "...the national security strategy of the United States is predicated upon future-war storytelling, where the "Bush revolution" in foreign and domestic policy is writ...